If a driver is arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, the government cannot force the individual to submit a blood sample without a warrant or warrant exception. The suspect’s refusal can also not be considered a crime. However, can the government use the suspect’s refusal as proof of guilt in a DUI prosecution? Some would argue that the Fourth Amendment does not allow the use of blood test refusal in a DUI case where the test would have been illegal to conduct in the first place. If you live in Mississippi, here are some things you should know about DUI charges.
The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment states that an individual has the right to refuse to be stopped and seized without legitimate cause. The police are not permitted to randomly or unlawfully stop someone, search, arrest, seize, or search their vehicle. These rights are protected through the Fourth Amendment.
In the case of a suspected DUI, the officer often has a valid reason for stopping a driver or coming in contact with someone who appears to be intoxicated.
Search and Seizure
Stop, search, and seizure are the main elements that come into play in a DUI case. A search and seizure involve taking an individual and/or their belongings and searching the person and/or property. The Fourth Amendment is meant to regulate police actions since according to the amendment, the police can not force a person to stop or search their vehicle unless they have substantial reason to do so.
Usually, police officers obtain a warrant for someone’s arrest or a search warrant to legally search a person’s vehicle during an investigation. In a typical DUI case, the police suddenly approach the driver, which often means there is no time to request a warrant for the search and seizure.